Multi-scale – also known as fanned-fret
What you’ll need to know and consider when having a multiscale?
Is it right for me?
Probably is, I’ve came across 2-5 people who said it’s not for them in my whole career, it’s very comfortable to get used to, takes about 3-10 min tops for guitar players on every level.
What makes a good multiscale?
The perpendicular fret (also known as natural fret) position is highly important, that will determine how extreme the first or the last frets would be and can alter your whole experience and opinions about multiscale guitars.
Other than being a cool looking guitar, it has an important role in playing and tuning.
Tuning: We all know that feeling of a floppy string followed by a muddy tone when it comes to low tuning. Having a long scale allows you to use your standard string gauges instead of a 1/4 inch cable and still achieve a tight tone without losing tension.
Playability: The differences between the longer and the shorter scales create the fan frets angles which allow your hand to rest in its natural position on the fretboard, without the need of stretching those tiny fingers all over the F board.
The Perpendicular fret is between 8-9th so you’ll get full access to all the frets without the need to stretch out your Yoga exercises all over the fretboard.
Intonation: nothing to do with it! Every instrument should be set to the right intonation regardless of how it is built (fan fret or not).
Hardware: I use the Bare-knuckle slanted pickups with a 10 degrees angle on the base plate.
Single string bridge by ABM – that way, I can adjust the position of each string in the best manner. The ABM is known for a comfortable bridge when you palm mute or just rest your hand on it.
Perpendicular fret -between 8 and 9
6 Strings MS: 25.5″-26.5″ 25.5″-27″
7 Strings MS: 25.5″-27.5″ or 25.5″-27″ (depends on your request)
8 Strings MS: 26″-28″ (or your request)
You can ask for different values if you wish for
NG(Natural Geometric) options:
It means that the Natural Geometric holes in the body are 20mm deep (see image below)
Tonal Characteristics: Expressed mids and more bite on the bass side.
The NG is inlayed in another wood type, usually the same wood of the body in order to create contrast with the top (see image below)
Tonal Characteristics: Same as the standard
The NG is cut only on the top and there will be a chambered portion underneath it in the body (see image below)
Tonal characteristics: More open and acoustic tones only on the clean sound, it won’t give you any feedback with high gain.
This is a new feature for the Venus Headstock, you can now ask for the NG add-on
What is it good for?
Strengthen the headstock (especially if you are doing a floating bridge build).
More resonant neck if you like to play crystal clear cleans
I use Mahogany, Swamp Ash, Ebony, Quilt Maple, Flame Maple, Black Limba(Corina), Zebrano, Ziricote, pale moon Ebony, burl Maple, walnut, burl walnut, Purpleheart, buckeye burl, birds eye maple, burl maple, wenge.
If there is something specific you are looking for, I will hear you out and let you know if I can get it or willing to use it.
Every wood I’ll use has to be dried well before turning it into a guitar, therefore I might not agree to use wood that is not ready to use.
Body: 40mm thick for all models – that’s 34mm body+6mm solid top (may vary with different tops)
Neck profile: 19mm at the first fret and 21mm at the 15th fret, or else if requested.
Nut Width: 43mm
24th fret: 58mm
nut width: 48mm
24th fret: 68mm
Nut width: 55mm
24th fret: 78mm
Neck shape: same as you, probably, I’m a fan of slim comfortable shader’s neck, The OD neck is carved by hand until it fits perfectly to what I think best or what you requested for, the shape is slim D with round overs on the edges.
Almost everyone is looking for the strongest neck, I have to say that’s a mistake. That will probably be a stable neck and won’t lose tuning so much, but you’ll probably end up with a dead instrument.
A neck should vibrate in collaboration with the strings frequencies, the neck comprises 70% of the sound.
I build the necks from booked match stabilized woods with one truss rod and no carbon fiber reinforcements. I want to allow the neck to vibrate and react to the strings in the best possible way.
That is the reason why I’ll never build an extended upper horn, that will just kill the bass side of the neck. Strengthen the neck in such a way will make it act unbalanced and take away most of the mids leaving you with a lot of muddy basses, The energy coming from the strings should transfer in the best possible way to the pickups and not have interferences while traveling through the neck and the body.
Construction method: I do only set necks since I believe it’s the best way of connecting wood and making them work together without losing the sound in different materials such as screws, washers, etc. Same here, I want to transfer the energy of the strings as clean as possible to the pickups without losing it on the way.
Mostly made from Ebony or Maple, Sometimes other exotic woods. Some woods are darker, some lighter, each has its own qualities and properties, on the quest for your desired tone, I’ll help you choose the right for your needs.
Fretboard blind fret slots are standard for an OD guitar, why? because you deserve a comfortable neck in your hand, a fretboard with blind fret slots keeps the fret ends inside the wood. If you have read what I wrote on tonewood, then you must know by now that wood moves and changes over the years, that can cause the frets to pop out from the sides and cut your gentle hands, we don’t want that 😉 Also, it looks better than a fretboard with fret ends on its sides.
I use only Switch-Craft for switches, it lasts longer than anything else out there.
Alpha for potentiometers – same reason.
Only silver covered wires or copper wires
I found some capacitor that works best for tone, it has a wider spectrum than everything else and does not eat your tone!
Everything is shielded, even if it’s 2 hum-backers configurations.
I use Hipshot products for bridges and tuners – open-gear locking tuners is a standard for all models,
and ABM bridges for multiscale guitars
Pickups: Bare knuckles Pickups, other brands are available at extra cost.
Tuners buttons: I make my own OD NG buttons – it’s crafted out of aluminum and anodized in black or gold. these buttons weight less than 10 gr for a set of 7! (regular buttons weigh almost 80 gr).
I use bone nuts:
Bone is a denser, stronger, more durable material and is naturally greasy
It doesn’t break strings, it rings better than everything else I’ve tried.
Don’t worry, I make sure our bone materials get from animals that died naturally, not hunted or hurt for our needs. If you still don’t want to have animal material in your guitar, let me know, I have a nice replacement for it.
Rhea has a slightly acoustic tone than the others, that is due to its unique headstock. The Natural Geometric patterns act almost like a classical guitar headstock, it vibrates different than a regular solid headstock, giving it acoustic open tone characteristics.
I use acrylic lacquer:
It’s durable, doesn’t turn sticky with time and most importantly, doesn’t dampen the sound
IMPORTANT! I spray coat only about 100 microns (0.0039Inch), that’s a very important method, I do not want to block the wood or seal it completely. It must breathe over the years in order to resonate and use its full potential as a tonewood. The finishing process is done by hand, I don’t have a robot which sprays a 1.5mm lacquer-like in huge companies, there is a reason for that, once the lacquer is so thick, it’s easier to sand it down and finish the guitar faster, but the downside to it is the sound.
Wood vibrates, if the lacquer is thick and soft, it will dampen the sound. If the lacquer is thin and hard, it will let the wood resonate as it should.
Don’t ask me these 🙂
Copies and replicas of other guitars – no, no …NO.
Ever-tune bridges: Not worth the loss of a good sounding guitar.
“I’ll give you some parts I have, can you give me a discount?” – Mmm nope.
“Will you send me a guitar for no reason?” Will you send me money for no reason?
Your own designs.
Extended upper horn – See my opinion on that in the neck section.
This list will be updated once in a while 😉